Explore the Skukuza Area of Kruger Park

© Heinrich van den Berg
The Sabie River bush between Skukuza and Lower Sabie has one of the highest concentrations of leopard in the world. These elegant cats are not easy to see because they hunt mostly by night and spend the day lying low. Leopards will eat just about anything from insects and snakes to medium-sized antelope, but seem to prefer prey less than 80kg in weight.

Game Viewing in Skukuza and Surrounds

About the Skukuza Area
At Skukuza Camp
Paul Kruger Gate
Phabeni Gate
Phabeni to Skukuza
Rhino Koppies Route
Sabie Sands Loop
Skukuza to Lower Sabie
Skukuza to Satara
Tshokwane and Surrounds
Tshokwane to Lower Sabie
Tshokwane to Satara

See Kruger Park Skukuza Area Self-drive Map

In the Skukuza area watch for:


Lions Hyaenas
Thick-tailed bushbaby
White rhino


Purple-crested turaco
African green-pigeon
African fish-eagle
Black cuckoo-shrike

Bushbuck and even nyala are found in the thicker bush. The Sabie and Sand River loops to the east of Skukuza camp are among the best places for seeing lion and hyaena in Kruger.

Buffalo and elephant are regularly seen from the camp itself. South of Skukuza there are a series of granite inselbergs stretching across the veld.

Habitat Pointers

Thorn thickets along the Sabie River valley

Mixed woodlands with granite koppies south of Skukuza

Established riverine forest along the Sabie River banks

Mixed marula, bushwillow and acacia woodlands between Skukuza and Tshokwane.

Look out for klipspringer on these rocks and rhino and giraffe in the surrounding woodlands.

The area is excellent for bird-watching, particularly in Skukuza camp (beneath the large trees along the river walkway), the nearby Lake Panic bird hide and Skukuza nursery.

Best Drive around Skukuza

Skukuza to Lower Sabie:

Drive slowly along the Sabie River which is prime lion and leopard territory, stop off for a meal at Nkuhlu and bird-watching at Sunset Dam. The drive includes riverine bush, thorn thickets and open grassland. This road has a wide variety of animals that are constantly coming to the river to drink.

Allow for three-and-a-half hours, including stops.

Leopard and Prey

In Kruger the leopard's most consistent prey is the impala. Kruger mammal writer Heike Schutze believes that leopards prefer bushbuck, reedbuck and waterbuck over impala. It's no coincidence that these are the buck that occupy the same riverine bush habitat as the leopard does.

Kruger National Park - South African Safari